Roddy 'Radiation' Byers - Guitar and Vocal
Few musicians can lay claim to influencing a generation, but Roddy Byers is one of them. As lead guitarist with The Specials he helped write the soundtrack to the 2 Tone generation penning such classic songs as Rat Race, Hey Little Rich Girl and Concrete Jungle. His influence continues through Amy Winehouse’s cover of ‘Rich Girl’ and brought the music of 2 Tone to whole new generation in the new millennium helping to kick start the recent Ska revival.
After 32 years of treating audiences to his own Ska-Rockabilly brand of “Radiation” therapy, Roddy Byers stepped away as The Specials’ lead guitarist and into the centre spotlight as the frontman/guitarist of the SKABILLY REBELS. Roddy and his Skabilly Rebels are the next phase of an audio formula Byers has been working to perfect since the day he stepped into the recording studio with The Specials back in 1979 – a fusion of the driving rhythm of Ska and the gritty, hard edge of Rockabilly.
Adrian R. Lee - Saxophone
Adrian became interested in playing music after seeing Andy Mackay play the saxophone with Roxy Music on The Old Grey Whistle Test. He was asked to play in a local avant-garde outfit called ‘The Groovy Lepers’, which involved mostly playing the saxophone through various effects pedals.
After relocating to London and teaching at an all girl convent school for several years’ before music beckoned again and he joined a jazz funk combo by the name of RVB.
On his return to the Midlands Adrian auditioned with Ska outfit ‘The Tonics’. He jumped at the chance to join the Skalbilly Rebels when asked and it allows him to play more baritone sax and a special instrument called the EWI (electronic wind synth).
Joe Harcourt - Guitar
Started playing in bands when he was 14 with younger brother Steve and a few friends, playing standards around local working men's clubs. He started writing original music and formed a rock band called Dissident, which we thought was a cool name till someone pointed out it sounded like a toothpaste. They gigged around Nuneaton, Coventry and Leicester but never really got anywhere. Joe was then asked to joined a Guns and Roses tribute band, which sounded fun, and they played 500 gigs in the four years we were together from 1999-2003 In the U.K. Ireland, Holland and Germany.
After that band ended he formed another original band which did a few gigs around small local venues, but never really took off. Joe then joined a local Ska band The Tonics through an old school friend, playing a mix of covers and our own stuff, this is where he met Ade and Connor and leading him to joining The Skabilly Rebels.
Simon O'Connor - Bass Guitar
Simon 'Connor' O'Connor started playing music from the age of 14 with school mates for as bit of fun. At the age of 17 or 18 he later formed a band writing and performing their own songs; Indie Smiths type stuff. The band played many gigs around the Midlands and built a good reputation, being asked to support bands such as The Wonderstuff, Pop Will Eat Itself, King Kurt and The Damned.
He took a break from music for a few years due to family commitments, before returning and then started playing in local bands doing cover songs for pubs, clubs and functions. Connor joined the local Ska band The Tonics where he met guitarist Joe and saxophonist Adie.
Connor's musical tastes are varied, ranging from Punk through to Funk, but one of his all time favourite bands is The Damned.
Lee Pratt - Drums
Lee is the newest member of the Skabilly Rebels and probably the loudest, both on and off stage!
He had a drum kit brought him when he was 5 to stop him smashing the hell out of everything, played in numerous pub and club bands in his teens but when 18 joined Nuneaton based band Easter Island, which featured John Graham aka LA record producer DJ Quiver. Unfortunately, the band only lasted a couple of years until they folded but Quiver later made a name for himself in the USA.
Lee joined Midland based ska band The Tonics, where he discovered Ska women and alcohol and, fast forward a few years and several pub bands, Roddy 'Radiation' came calling and the rest is history.
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